Dr. Kenneth B. (K. B.) Huffman was a representative and successful young physician of Bentonville, who there practiced his profession for many years since 1912 with the exception of the period of his service in World War I. He was a native of the town in which he made his home, his birth having there occurred July 1883. His parents were Christopher C. and Georgetta E. (Jefferson) Huffman, the former a native of Barren County, Kentucky, while the latter was born near Bentonville. The paternal grandparents, Josephus and Selina J. (Bowles) Huffman, were both natives of Barren County, Kentucky, and the grandfather served in the Confederate army for four years as a member of a Texas regiment. Samuel Allen and Joan (Neale) Jefferson, the maternal grandparents of Dr. Huffman, were both born in Arkansas. The former, together with his three brothers, served as a Confederate soldier during the Civil War.
Representatives of the Jefferson family came to this state at a very early period in its development and acquired considerable land in Benton County. The parents of Dr. Huffman were married in Benton County. The father filled the position of county clerk for a few years. He later became cashier of the Benton County Bank, while subsequently he turned his attention to the wholesale grocery business, which claimed his time for a considerable period and in which connection he built up a trade of extensive and gratifying proportions. In politics he was a democrat and fraternally was identified with the Masons and the Knights of Pythias, assisting in organizing the local lodge of the latter order. His religious belief was indicated by his membership in the Presbyterian Church, in the faith of which he departed this life in 1912, at the age of 57 years, the community thus losing one of its most respected and substantial citizens. They had five children,three of whom were still living in 1922. These were Kenneth B., Anna H. Paul of Southwest City , Missouri,and son Louis C. who was a partner in the O. T. Garage in Bentonville.
K. B. Huffman supplemented his high school training by a course of study in Bentonville College and then entered the medical department of St. Louis University, which conferred upon him the degree of M. D. in 1910. After following his profession for a brief period in St. Louis he returned to Bentonville and here opened an office in 1912, continuing practice until America’s entrance into the World War in 1917, when he joined the Ninetieth Division. He remained or three weeks at Fort Riley, was then transferred to Camp Travis, Texas, and sailed overseas in 1918 as surgeon of the Three Hundred and Fifteenth Field Signal Battalion. On the 8th of July, 1919, he was discharged and following his return to Bentonville resumed his practice, which steadily grew in extent and importance by reason of his pronounced professional skill and recognized ability. For two years he acted as assistant in clinical diagnosis and physiological chemistry in the St. Louis Medical School, and he kept well informed concerning the most advanced thought of the profession through his membership in the Benton County Medical Society, the Arkansas State Medical Society and the American Medical Association.
On July 16, 1901, Dr. Huffman was united in marriage to Miss Della Dunham, who was born in Sarcoxie, Missouri, a daughter of John J. Dunham, a native of that state and a preacher of the Presbyterian church. The doctor and his wife had three children: Charles, Christine and Madeline.
Politically Dr. Huffman was a democrat, stanchly supporting the party because of firm belief in its principles. He served as a member of the county board of health in 1912 and later filled the position of city health officer, in which connection he made a most creditable record. His religious faith was indicated by his membership in the Presbyterian church, to which his wife also belonged. He was likewise connected with the Masons, being sojourner in the chapter and a past eminent commander in the Knights Templar commandery. His record added new luster to an untarnished family name, for his career in its varied relations was such as to win for him the confidence and respect of all with whom was associated.
By 1930, Dr. Huffman had moved to the Joplin, Missouri area. He passed away in Joplin on March 12, 1934, and is buried in Joplin.
Adapted from: Centennial History of Arkansas - Fay Hempstead - 1922